Thursday, April 28, 2011

ode to heidi (part 1)

It may be surprising for some people to know that, up until a few years ago, I really didn't like to cook. As a food photographer, I feel like it's my duty to be a fabulous chef and, truly, I am not. But something has definitely shifted in the past few years. It all changed after I discovered a few blogs that resonated with me and addressed the way that I like to eat-- simply and with lots of vegetables. Heidi Swanson's blog, 101 Cookbooks, has been one of my favorites since the first time I read it.

In our household, my husband, Joe, is the "real" cook. He's one of those people who can look at whatever is in the fridge and pantry and create something amazing. In 13 years, I have never seen him glance at a recipe.
I, on the other hand, often start with a recipe and adapt as I go. I am constantly on the lookout for new veggie recipes. Vegetable dishes are my domain, meat and fish dishes are Joe's. I avoided meat for years and, while I do eat it now and enjoy it, I still prefer to eat primarily vegetarian meals. Consequently, we eat big salads 4 or 5 times a week. I am pleased to report that Joe has been won over to the salad camp and craves them whenever I am out of town. Success! :)

So, back to 101 Cookbooks.

Heidi is a vegetarian so her whole site is devoted to meatless meals using whole foods.
As if her blog weren't great enough, Heidi's latest cookbook, Super Natural Every Day, is FREAKING AWESOME. Sorry, there is just no other way to put it. I can't think of any other cookbook that makes me want to cook every single thing in there. The recipes are simple, straightforward, healthy, and delicious. Exactly what I like. On top of that, the photos are stunning. Heidi is a rock star with the camera.
So far, I have made a number of the dishes in her book and plan on making a whole lot more.

Lately I have been craving roasted tomatoes. Yes, I know it's the end of April and, yes, I know that tomatoes are months away from being in season. Today, I didn't care. I bought some cherry tomatoes anyway and roasted them.
If you haven't roasted cherry tomatoes before, then I suggest you do so as soon as possible. I will be growing cherry tomatoes this summer for the sole purpose of roasting them-- they are THAT good. And they are so incredibly simple. Heidi has a recipe in her book, as well as on her blog.

After roasting the tomatoes and eating quite a few of them on their own, I decided to make another one of Heidi's recipes-- Heather's Quinoa. This one is on her blog, not in her book, so you can check it out over there. It combines quinoa with shallots, corn (I used frozen), kale (I used red chard instead), tofu, pesto, pumpkin seeds and roasted tomatoes. I added way more tomatoes than called for but, other than that, I stayed pretty true to the recipe.
Not surprisingly, it was incredibly tasty, and really, really easy.

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Leek Soup said...

Great post Clare! And, as always, beautiful photography!
My copy arrives tomorrow and I think it would be safe to say I'll be having similar posts on my blog :)
Heidi is such an inspiration...

mimi charmante said...

Fabulous photos, as always~ I can't wait for the signing on Saturday - I am guessing I will see you there?
Have a wonderful Friday,

Anonymous said...

Funny! I made this recipe Thursday. We loved it. Thanks for the book Clare.

Unknown said...

This looks really delicious. I would love everything in this dish!